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Environmental plan to further protect wetlands


City of Newcastle has revealed plans to improve its environmental management of the former Astra Street landfill site in Shortland in a bid to continue its protection of the RAMSAR-listed Hunter Wetlands.

The site operated as a tip from 1974, taking waste from across the Hunter, including from the clean-up of the Newcastle Earthquake, before it was closed and capped in 1995.

The council has worked with the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) to monitor and assess the site, with expressions of interest called tomorrow (Saturday 12 September) for contractors to enhance the 25-year-old capping and improve drainage.

Director of Infrastructure and Property, Ken Liddell, said the project would protect the local environment and aid in future management of the 37-hectare site. 

“City of Newcastle is committed to not only ensuring today’s waste is managed with the environment front-of-mind, but that historic sites like Astra Street at Shortland are not forgotten,” Mr Liddell said.

“Environmental management and monitoring standards have come a long way since 1995, which is why we’re investing in upgrades that will protect the local environment well into the future.”

The proposed works will start in early 2021 and include final capping and reprofiling of the site, and drainage improvements to aid in management of surface water and sediment runoff.

The works are intended to maintain the local protected environment, increase and safeguard water quality of surrounding wetlands and aquatic ecosystems, increase biodiversity values, and promote long-term native vegetation growth.

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